A magistrate has allowed three defendants who were charged with incitement to harm Hong Kong police officers to continue their bail, but has added new terms preventing them from leaving the city.

The trio – 20-year-old student Yip Sin-man, 34-year-old Chiu Ho-nam and information technology technician Lai Chit, 36 – appeared before Principal Magistrate Ada Yim at Eastern Magistrates’ Courts on Friday morning.

East Magistrates' Court
East Magistrates’ Courts. Photo: Peter Lee/HKFP.

Yip was charged with “incitement to cause grievous bodily harm with intent,” while Chiu and Lai were accused of “incitement to wound with intent.” The defendants had previously been granted cash bail.

The magistrate added the new conditions to their bail, including having to hand over all of their travel documents including BNO passports, live at their reported addresses, and report to the police station once a week. Yim said the new terms were based on the “seriousness of the offence” and “the background of the case.”

The case will be transferred to the District Court. The magistrate approved the prosecution’s request to adjourn the transfer hearing to February 21 to allow them to prepare related documents.

‘Incitement to harm with intent’

Last July 1, Leung Kin-fai stabbed a police officer before taking his own life on the 24th anniversary of Hong Kong’s Handover.

After Yip was arrested on July 4, Wilson Tam, superintendent of the Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau, told reporters that she was suspected of publishing posts about police killing and arson at police premises a day after the stabbing.

police officer stabbed
A police officer was stabbed on July 1, 2021. Photo: Ryan Lai/CitizenNews.

Local media reported that the posts were shared on the LIHKG forum, a popular communication channel among protesters during the 2019 protests and unrest.

Chiu was arrested on July 5 and was accused of making posts about “[attacking] police officers” and “establishing an anniversary date of the police knifing” on internet platforms.

The third defendant was arrested on July 9 for allegedly publishing instructions on how to use a knife against officers on a online forum, with details about the importance of using a knife, which body parts to aim for, how to handle knives, and the right time to attack.

If you are experiencing negative feelings, please call: The Samaritans 2896 0000 (24-hour, multilingual), Suicide Prevention Centre 2382 0000 or the Social Welfare Department 2343 2255. The Hong Kong Society of Counselling and Psychology provides a WhatsApp hotline in English and Chinese: 6218 1084.

See also: HKFP’s comprehensive guide to mental health services in Hong Kong

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Peter Lee is a reporter for HKFP. He was previously a freelance journalist at Initium, covering political and court news. He holds a Global Communication bachelor degree from CUHK.